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Elle responds to Melissa McCarthy cover controversy

Melissa McCarthy graces the cover of Elle. Elle/Thomas Whiteside

You would think that any cover featuring beloved funny-woman Melissa McCarthy would be celebrated, but Elle is getting anything but a celebration over its annual "Women in Hollywood" issue featuring "The Heat" star on the cover.

The fashion mag has been receiving a ton of backlash over its November cover photo, which features the curvy actress fully covered, barely showing any skin in a bulky Marina Rinaldi winter coat.

And while the 43-year-actress undisputably looks gorgeous and Hollywood glam from the neck up, critics are slamming the magazine for not showing off her figure in the slightest, especially given the fact that alternate covers for the annual issue feature Reese Witherspoon in a fitted black Versace dress, Marion Cotillard donning a sports bra, and Shailene Woodley wearing a strappy black swimsuit.

However, Elle is standing its fashion ground, and defending the decision. "On all of our shoots, our stylists work with the stars to choose pieces they feel good in, and this is no different: Melissa loved this look, and is gorgeous on our cover," a spokesperson for Elle said in a statement. "We are thrilled to honor her as one of our Women in Hollywood this year."

And it looks like McCarthy is happy with her cover as well. Her rep insists she "loves the cover" and even picked out the coat. Which begs the question, if the "Mike & Molly" star is content, isn't that all that should matter?

Tell us: What do you think of Elle's cover? Do you think they are covering McCarthy up on purpose?

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